With no end to lockdown currently in sight and most people confined to the safety of their homes most of the time, you’ve probably noticed pictures of rainbows drawn by children  popping up in living room windows and porches in neighbourhoods across Manchester as messages of hope and thanks to the region’s amazing key workers.

Now I Love MCR and Great Northern Warehouse are taking it to the next level and spreading the message of hope and positivity across the city.

They want people of all ages to generate positivity in the face of the Covid-19 crisis by creating their own artworks. 

The chance to publicise your personal "thank you" message to key workers across Manchester I Love Manchester

A selection of the artworks submitted will be displayed on digital billboards and digital notice boards in office and apartment blocks across the city, including the biggest outdoor digital screen in Manchester – Axis Tower – courtesy of I Love MCR, one of the most recognised out-of-home media companies (a term that encompasses most adverts displayed in public) in Manchester.

Once lockdown restrictions have been lifted and it’s safe for venues to reopen, the artworks will also be displayed in a charity art exhibition hosted at Great Northern Warehouse in the heart of Manchester, with all proceeds going to Forever Manchester Community Support Fund, which is helping those impacted by Covid-19.

The chance to publicise your personal "thank you" message to key workers across Manchester I Love Manchester

Anyone of any age can submit a piece of art, from Manchester’s most celebrated artists and well known faces to children and parents home-schooling to care home residents.

All you have to do is send in a photo or scan of your homemade design and I Love MCR and partners will spread your love and gratitude around the whole city, ensuring that all key workers feel the scale of Manchester’s appreciation.

I Love MCR will even print the selected designs onto organic t-shirts to be sold in the online Manchester souvenirs shop with sales proceeds again going directly to Forever Manchester.

“There’s a very good reason why an occasional handmade card is so much more special than a shop bought card,” said I Love MCR CEO Chris Greenhalgh.

“It’s the personal touch and love that’s gone into making it. Sure, we’ve designed generic graphics to broadcast a thank you to the NHS on our billboards, but there’s no bigger way to express love and gratitude than displaying homemade artwork by fellow Mancunians.”

The people behind retail, entertainment and business destination Great Northern kick started the campaign earlier this month by commissioning local illustrator MOZE (Becki Miller) to create a ‘This too shall pass’ mural on its Deansgate terrace (pictured). 

The chance to publicise your personal "thank you" message to key workers across Manchester I Love Manchester
Lucy Smith

Building on the great response to the mural, the Great Northern is now partnering with I Love MCR to find more pieces of art which can be used to generate and promote strong positive messages at this challenging time.

“Whether your children have been drawing NHS rainbows since school closures or you’re a parent who wants to take the time to design a Messages of Hope piece, we look forward to sharing the city’s creative artworks far and wide to help keep hope alive as we stand together in the face of this crisis,” said Great Northern centre director Mark Schofield.

Send in your artwork

To submit a piece of artwork simply share your picture and tag the I Love MCR and Great Northern Warehouse on any of the social channels – Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Or email your artwork to hello@ilovemanchester.com and emma.james@thegreatnorthern.com

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